Tomato Varieties and Their Tastes

Tomatoes are hardy plants that grow in a range of climates, producing a distinctive globular fruit of the same name. At one time it was generally believed that tomatoes were poisonous given their close relationship to nightshade. This was linked to their taste, which is best described as savory. Savoriness is most strongly linked to sensations of "meaty" or "brothy" and comes about by the overwhelming amount of glutamic acid which all tomatoes carry. At present, there are more than 7,500 varieties of tomato, broken down into three subcategories or types.

Determinate-Type Tomatoes

Determinate type tomatoes are a group of tomatoes whose fruit grow to a predetermined size and ripen all at once, allowing for easy one-time harvesting. This also means several crops can be produced in a single growing season. The Floramerica, Celebrity, Napoli, Principe Borghese and Juice varieties are most commonly found in supermarkets, all of which are described as having a meaty texture, taste, and high juice content.

Indeterminate-Type Tomatoes

Indeterminate type tomatoes have undergone little in the way of selective breeding. They produce fruit all year round which continuously grows and ripens, as opposed to a single harvest time. This means they tend to be larger and, because of a lower glutamic acid distribution, more mild tasting. Varieties of indeterminate type tomatoes include Avalanche, Opalka, San Marzano, Better Boy, Beefmaster, Early Girl, Golden Boy and the Brandywine.

Cherry-Type Tomatoes

Cherry-type tomatoes are all stunted varieties of tomato, usually producing fruit no larger than a walnut. They run the gamut of taste. The Yellow Pear has almost no discernable taste at all. The Sweet Million lives up to its name by having the highest sugar content of this type, though some claim that the Sun Cherry is the sweetest variety given the lack of glutamic acid to counter the sugar. Yellow Currants have an extremely high concentration of glutamic acid, which can create a sour aftertaste that is up to the consumer to decide on.

Keywords: tomato tastes, tomato types, tomato varieties

About this Author

John Albers is a 25 year old freelance writer with dual degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology, and a goodly amount of experience in most fields besides. He's successfully published 800 online and printed articles of a technical nature, and fictional works with Bewildering Stories and Mindflights Magazine, though he's currently working on a debut novel.